Flaskguy Knows Why Your Flasks Aren't Selling

Flaskguy: A Flasky Story

Written by Xenith of  WoW Gold Stimulus
Making gold can sometimes be one of the most solitary activities in WoW. The Auction House does a great job of automating everything, so you don’t need to actually hawk your wares in Trade or talk to your buyers at all to make sales. And that's a good thing. I remember in the early days of Everquest, before that game had an Auction House system, the community just kind of picked an area of the game (East Commonlands Tunnel..anyone
else remember?) where anyone with someone to sell would just hang out, shouting their offers in Trade channel. The best part was buyers and sellers trying to find each other among several hundred other characters. Oh..and the fact that you couldn’t move to another zone or log out of the game while you were selling.

That being said, there are times when interacting with other players in
WoW can improve your profits. And to show you how, I’m going to tell you a
story about about a guy called Flaskguy.

Now our hero Flaskguy, you may be surprised to learn, sold flasks (he was
much better at selling flasks than coming up with original names for his
alts). But he didn’t just sell a few flask. Oh no. By the time Flaskguy
was done, he was probably responsible for the vast majority of flask sales
on his server. And part of the way he did this was by actually building
relationships with other players.



Buyers

Now one day, Flaskguy decided to dominate his market. So he started  by
picking a niche, focusing on it and making sure that he understood the
type of players who buy those items. Flaskguy focused on flasks for
raiders. He started this venture immediately after the release of the ICC
patch. Very smart; because you will sell more flasks after a patch with
new raid content than any other time. Flaskguy knew this because he knew
his buyers and their habits. He was also able to use Trade chat
effectively to advertise because his messages were witty and entertaining
and he developed a ‘personality’ that people remembered.  And he knew when
the peak times for raids forming up are on his server and could
concentrate his messages at those times.

But Flaskguy was mostly successful because he was cheaper than anyone else
and he made sure he told everybody about it, so that when people went to
the Auction House, they didn’t just search for flasks, they searched for
Flaskguy!.  He managed to be cheaper than everyone else because of another
relationship that he built with other players. The one with his suppliers.

Suppliers

Most crafters who sell on the Auction House either get the materials for
their products by a) buying them from the auction house or b) farming them
themselves. Flaskguy realised that both of these methods were leaving gold
on the table. If he bought from the Auction House, he would be paying the
same price as his competitors (unless they farm their own, in which case
they don’t have much volume) and that would levae him less room to
maneuver when it came to undercutting their prices. If he farmed his own,
he just wouldn’t have the volume he needed to make gold while undercutting
everyone else.

So Flaskguy didn’t use either of these methods. Instead, he formed
relationships with herb farmers. And by agreeing to buy everything they
farmed, he was able to directly negotiate a cheaper price than other
alchemists and keep his flasks cheaper than anyone else.

So Flaskguy sold a whole bunch of flasks for a while, and lived happily
(and richly) ever after...

And the moral of this story is this: If you are looking to dominate a
market, don’t forget that there are other people in this game, with their
own wants, needs and motivations that you might be able to make use of.
Even your competitors can behave in predictable ways that can help you
out. When Flaskguy decided to take a break from the flask market, he knew
that within a few weeks, his old competitors would have the prices back to
their pre-Flaskguy levels. That's just the way they work. Now the market
is ripe for Flaskguy again. Or another Flaskguy. Or maybe even you...

  1. I think I just read a drug lords story.

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